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Steeton survive Lepton comeback
Steeton 3 Lepton Highlanders 2
Steeton played some of their best football of the season in the first half but eased off after the interval and almost let Lepton back into the game.
With Danny McNulty unavailable and Andy King injured, Michael Rhodes and Nicky McNally came into the side.
Steeton began brightly, with Adam Spencer going close after good work from strike partner Lee Reilly. And the hosts took an early lead when Reilly cut in from the right and curled a great strike into the top corner.
McNally then had a shot blocked as Steeton looked to extend their advantage. Gregory Mitchell went close in reply but pulled his shot wide of Phil Rishton’s upright.
McNally cut in from the left and Reilly was thwarted by Dominic Hanson as he looked to dink the ball over him, while Sam Rooke headed wide from a Rhodes corner.
Steeton doubled their lead on 23 minutes when Spencer stooped low to head over the advancing keeper.
Niall Simpson then went close at the other end following a good run but Rishton smothered well.
Mitchell struck over from close range when he should have done better, while McNally fired wide after good work from Holden in the middle of the park. Jack Ogalbe also tried his luck but his effort was wide of the target.
McNally then did well on the left to get to a loose ball and lob it over Hanson’s head but Thomas Christian did well to scoop the ball away from underneath the bar.
Steeton grabbed a vital third goal with virtually the last kick of the first half. Andy Holden’s corner was only partially cleared and McNally struck from the edge of the box through a group of players before the loose ball fell to Spencer, who swivelled and fired home.
Unfortunately the hosts failed to get going in the second period and did not create much in the early exchanges, with Simpson’s pace now a worry.
Holden then struck a free-kick that Hanson did well to get across to, before Steeton should have increased their lead when Holden’s cross eluded everyone and McNally ghosted in at the far post but got underneath the ball and fired over.
The visitors were handed a lifeline when Matty Kershaw and Andy Foster tangled with Simpson and the referee awarded a spot-kick, which Liam Coughlan converted.
The game then seemed to flow in the visitors’ favour and Steeton moved to stifle things up with the introduction of debutant Tim Hird.
Damien Whiteoak did well to feed Spencer but he fired wide as Steeton looked to restore their three-goal cushion. But it was the visitors who had the final say when Thomas Mitchell broke free and clipped the ball past the advancing Rishton to make the last two minutes interesting.
Steeton boss Roy Mason said: “We were excellent in the first period but we didn’t play with anywhere near the required tempo in the second and were almost made to pay the penalty. However, we again had a few missing and we are picking up points in the process.”
Steeton: Rishton, Rhodes, Foster, Kershaw, Rooke, Whiteoak, Holden, Ogalbe, Reilly, Spencer (Mitchell), McNally (Hird).
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